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THE PEOPLE OF SPARKS by Jeanne DuPrau

THE PEOPLE OF SPARKS

By Jeanne DuPrau

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: May 25th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-82824-9
Publisher: Random House

At the end of The City of Ember (2003), Lina and Doon had found the way out of their doomed underground home. At the opening of this hotly anticipated sequel, they have led some 400 survivors to the village of Sparks, a community of above-ground dwellers only just beginning to see prosperity after years of Disaster-induced privation. Although the citizens of Sparks uneasily welcome the Emberites, the two groups, propelled by suspicion, narrow-mindedness, and misunderstanding, find themselves battling over resources and power in a depressingly familiar dance. A climax such as the ending to the previous tale is by definition followed by an anticlimax, and this offering, deprived of its compelling setting and situation, has lost some of the drive and focus of its predecessor. Still, Lina and Doon remain engaging protagonists, and they are joined by emotionally credible new characters. Although some of the scenes deteriorate into set pieces (“One bad thing after another leads to worse things,” muses Lina. “So you do a good thing, and that turns it around”), this fast-paced tale of post-Apocalyptic strife will resonate with new and returning fans alike. (Fiction. 9-13)